The Washington Independent

Posts Tagged office of legal counsel

CIA Indictments: Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don’t

By | 06.18.10 | 12:45 pm

Ryan Reilly reports:

Assistant United States Attorney John Durham is close to completing a preliminary review of whether there is evidence that CIA agents violated the law when they used brutal methods to interrogate terror detainees, Attorney General Eric Holder said in speech Thursday night.

Holder, speaking in a question and answer session


‘Do We Know If Boo-Boo Is Allergic to Certain Insects?’

By | 02.19.10 | 8:09 pm

The Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility released its report on professional misconduct over torture authorized by ex-Justice officials John Yoo, Steve Bradbury and Jay Bybee today, and the results aren’t so good for them. While they avoided a formal recommendation for disbarment, Justice Department ethics officials found that More…

John Yoo on Stripping Citizenship for Americans Who Work for U.S. Enemies

By | 02.16.10 | 2:19 pm

This is a bit flashbacky, but in June 2002, John Yoo, then the deputy chief of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, considered the question of what acts a U.S. citizen might commit that would indicate an implicit renunciation of his or her citizenship. Apropos of my More…

Retroactive Immunity for Illegal Surveillance (Obama Edition)

By | 01.22.10 | 3:03 pm

In a move straight out of the Bush administration’s Office of Legal Counsel, a secret decision made by the Obama administration’s OLC provided retroactive legal justification for the FBI and telecommunications companies to improperly collect the phone records of American citizens. We would have no idea that the OLC issued More…

Specter Is Dawn Johnsen’s 60th Senate Vote

By | 01.12.10 | 4:22 pm

Brian Beutler at TPM reports that under pressure from Senate primary challenger Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.), Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.)  says he’d vote for Office of Legal Counsel chief nominee Dawn Johnsen, whose nomination has been stalled for almost a year:

“After voting ‘pass’ (which means no position) in


John Yoo Wins Battle of ‘The Daily Show’

By | 01.12.10 | 11:43 am

It’s a testament to Jon Stewart’s extraordinary abilities to speak sensibly in an age of insanity that we expect him to skewer knaves like John Yoo, the former Office of Legal Counsel torture advocate, who appeared on “The Daily Show” last night. Stewart has a great command of the facts More…

Surprise! John Yoo Believes in Broad Executive Powers

By | 01.04.10 | 7:42 pm

Former Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Yoo has been spewing his grandiose views on presidential power ever since leaving the Bush administration. So although his latest book, “Crisis And Command,” is an unusually ambitious 446-page historical survey of executive power from George Washington to George W. Bush, his More…

DOJ Doubles Down in Its Defense of John Yoo

By | 12.04.09 | 11:13 am

Talk about getting a second bite of the apple. I’ve written before about the problem with the Department of Justice jumping in to defend a lawsuit charging that John Yoo was responsible for torture and abuse of “enemy combatant” Jose Padilla. Given that Yoo is the subject of More…

So Where’s That OPR Report?

By | 12.01.09 | 9:13 am

Less than two weeks ago, Attorney General Eric Holder testified that the long-awaited report on the ethics of Bush-era Justice Department lawyers who sanctioned torture and other abuses would be released by the end of November.

So where is it?

Won’t You Help Jay Bybee Against Those Who Want to Hold Him Accountable for Torture?

By | 11.19.09 | 9:27 am

Michael Isikoff reports:

The federal judge who helped draft Justice Department memos on torture has set up a legal defense fund to pay the costs of defending against possible disciplinary or impeachment proceedings. Jay Bybee, a U.S. Court of Appeals judge in Las Vegas, quietly set up the fund